Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Fatherless babies in fertility revolution

The UK Telegraph paper reports:
A child's need for a father will no longer be a consideration when a woman seeks fertility treatment, ministers will say this week.

The move -- which comes despite widespread public opposition and which will give single women and lesbians the right to treatment -- forms part of a shake-up of Britain's embryology laws. One of the key proposals would allow research on test-tube embryos that were part-human, part-animal -- referred to as "chimeras". ...

Homosexual couples will have the same parental rights as heterosexuals and, for the first time, all parents will be banned from choosing the sex of their baby for non-medical reasons. ...

The creation of combined human-animal embryos under licence will be popular among stem-cell researchers, including a team from the North East England Stem Cell Institute, which has submitted plans to create a human-cow chimera embryo. ...

The aim of the shake-up is to bring the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act into line with scientific advances and to make sure the law is "fit for purpose in the early 21st century". Caroline Flint, the health minister, claims in her foreword: "The over-arching aim is to pursue the common good through a system broadly acceptable to society."
I am all in favor of modernizing reproductive ethics, but medieval monks could do better than this. Britain now approves of cloning, creation of fatherless kids, homosexual parents, and human-animal chimeras, but if two ordinary healthy heterosexual parents want to have a real boy or girl, then the Brits have a law against it. Weird.

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